A miserable afternoon in Huddersfield brought two play-off hopefuls together. Two teams who were holding the top 2 in the form table from 2022 going into this afternoon’s game. Going into this game, both sides have been recording promising results both on and off the road in the Championship. This hectic season in the Championship has seen Sheffield United surge up the table, putting together fantastic results since Paul Heckingbottom came in charge of the club. Huddersfield have been one of the Championship’s most consistent teams this year, there or thereabouts, but their lack of firepower up top is evident, perhaps hindering their playoff surge.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Welsh
- Age: 23
- Date of Birth: 25/01/1999
- Current Club: Huddersfield Town
- Career: West Ham United, Boreham Wood, Huddersfield
- Position: Right Winger
- Preferred foot: Right
Thomas has a gangly sort of frame, unorthodox size for a winger, but this does not hinder his pace. He is a traditional sort of winger, if he cannot get to the byline and put in crosses he will recycle and try to work an angle for the cross. His stamina is one real big asset, he really worked head and was still leading counter-attacks deep into the game, showing his fitness levels. This may be because he has just come up from the National League, so potentially has some of that industriousness and hard-working attitude that was really evident today.
Thomas’ ability in the final third is frightening, he always seems to make guilt-edged decisions look effortless. Whipping balls in when necessary, hanging them up when called upon, and zipping them across the turf when the opportunity arises. This crossing ability is aided by Thomas’ timing of runs, he will go and peel off the full-back to ensure he has a head start on them by sucking them on before peeling off. This opens up the space for when he is most deadly, with space in behind and with the striker in the box. As well as his timing of runs in behind, he likes to drop off and look to bring others in with flicks around the corner to strike partners. Thomas’ accuracy from corners/crosses is second to none, rarely missing the intended target.
Once in crossing positions, he will look to work the ball onto his right foot. Despite not being overly comfortable on his left, he will still come inside, but not really use his left for crossing, preferring to stand balls up with a standing start. He is versatile in crossing positions, with a variety of techniques to work the ball into the box. Technically fantastic, and speaks volumes that he is in charge of all set-pieces, outswingers from the right, inswingers from the left, mixing up his game wherever possible. He likes to float crosses, and in one instance, floated one to be attacked perfectly for an opener, which was unfairly ruled out for a foul, a perfect ball in to be attacked aggressively. He is a real ball manipulator, aided by his fantastic technique.
Out of possession Thomas is very useful, he will revert back to his defensive duties and withhold the out-of-possession shape his manager would’ve demanded. He is an old style of player, industrious, he will make runs, work hard for the team and will attack the space with a ‘pass and move’ attitude. Thomas’ intelligence really shone today, his National League guile and work ethic was also evident and was really refreshing to see.
Rating – A2
Thomas really grew into the game and I get the feeling that everything has been through him for Huddersfield this season, however, he started slowly. I would also like to see him use his left foot on occasion.
I have to feel that with a prolific striker in Huddersfield’s lineup, Thomas would have much more assists than he already has, which is an impressive 8 in total. He is a throwback of a player who has a fantastic story behind him, working his way up after being released by West Ham. His deliveries are fantastic and Huddersfield will have a hard time keeping hold of him next year, even if they do go up via the playoffs.